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Community collaboration makes our work possible. At LSS, we connect people with the resources to help them be their best selves. That means we work with community partners to help meet client needs and ensure our whole-person family-centered approach is carried out successfully.

“Community collaborations are extremely important because our clients’ challenges were not created in a vacuum and they don’t exist in a vacuum,” says Shannalee Mask with LSS CARES Wraparound Services.

CARES Wraparound provides preventative planning support to stabilize families. They work closely with more than 50 organizations and agencies to address the challenges of families in South Dakota communities.

“There are multiple layers and approaches to acknowledge and address a family’s challenges, not just the symptoms of those challenges,” continues Mask. “It may take the collaboration of services with unique skills to achieve long-lasting success. The ultimate goal is for the family to learn the necessary skills to sustain positive changes and be independent of services.”

CARES Wraparound Services is one service area that embraces community collaboration. However, the breadth and depth of community partnerships and positive relationships are present throughout LSS and with local and state organizations as well as government agencies throughout South Dakota.

LSS Canyon Hills and Summit Oaks Centers are residential treatment facilities serving youth experiencing mental health, emotional or behavioral issues.

Canyon Hills Center in Spearfish works closely with Matthew’s Opera House to involve youth with theater and Lutherans Outdoors for day and overnight trips
at Outlaw Ranch.

Summit Oaks Center in Sioux Falls partners with the Sioux Falls Chamber Music Collective to bring music, writing and art to the youth in care.

With youth and family voices at the forefront of our services, LSS Children & Youth Services staff are active in youth advocacy with the South Dakota Association of Youth Care Providers, the SD Juvenile Justice Oversight Council and the Behavioral Health Advisory Council. The SD Association of Youth Care Providers also serves as a resource for benchmarks and best practices as well as opportunities to identify and address gaps in services.

“We are grateful for all of our community partners, public support, corporate relationships and their willingness to take an active role in making our vision a reality.
All South Dakotans will be healthy, safe and accepted,” says Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen.